Grand Rapids, The Best ________ City In Michigan

Every city has their claim to fame. Whether it’s a one stop light town in the middle of New Mexico or a major metropolitan area, everyone has something they like to brag about. In the past couple of years, one city in Michigan seems to keep showing up in “best of” lists, and I couldn’t help but take notice. While the national media points the spotlight intensely on the struggles of Detroit and (to a lesser extent) Flint, Grand Rapids continues to earn praise from many different directions.

grand rapids skyline


Here are just a few of the accolades bestowed upon Grand Rapids in the past year:

  1. The #1 Travel Destination in the United States. Lonely Planet’s annual list of must see places not only included Grand Rapids (and West Michigan), but it rated it the number one place to visit in 2014. Read the full article here.
  2. The #1 City For Raising A Family. Easy commutes, good schools, stable home prices and affordable living are just a few reasons that Grand Rapids was chosen as the best city in the United States to raise a family. Read the full article.
  3. Beer City USA. Yes, it’s a public poll, but few people are more adamant about claiming their city is the best than beer aficionados. After tying with Asheville, NC in 2012, Grand Rapids came away the standalone winner in 2013. ¬†Here’s the article from Examiner on Grand Rapids’ victory.
  4. Top 10 Happiest Cities To Work Right Now. Forbes published the happiest and least happy places to work, and Grand Rapids landed at #7 on the happy side of things. Read more.
  5. Top 10 Cities For Finding Employment. Forbes again found Grand Rapids a fine place to work, rating the city 4th in cities for finding employment. Read more.
  6. 5th most affordable city to live. CNN money added up the dollars and cents and decided Grand Rapids was amongst the best most affordable cities in the U.S. Read the full article here.

Other random, but nonetheless impressive rankings

  1. 25th best city for bicycling
  2. 11th best location for real estate investment
  3. A top US city to retire in
  4. #3 city for “youngest smiles” – no we didn’t make that up
  5. 22nd on Zane Lamprey’s 25 best beer cities in the world
It’s hard to argue that Grand Rapids appears to be a city on the rise. The question is, have they received any other recognition not listed above? Please share!